“Chaos and beauty” according to Alejandro Pio. | Arts and Culture Blog

Urban Arts Collaborative in Salinas now presents “Soul Food,” a solo exhibition of artwork by Salinas cook-turned-artist Alejandro Pio.

Pio invites the viewer to “visualize the chaos, a feeling of shit, a series of events that make us feel uncomfortable”, and then “to step back and discover the beauty that ensues”, he writes. in his artist statement.

Born in Mexico, Pio moved to Salinas when he was 3 years old, along with his mother and sister. Growing up, he struggled financially and moved around a lot, getting to know every nook and cranny of Salinas. At school, he pursued art and photography classes alongside cooking classes. Pio says he worked his way into some of the best kitchens around, but after two years as a chef he decided it was time to pursue his other passion, art.

Although his work is considered abstract by most, Pio does not see it as such. In fact, it really doesn’t find any categories for itself. “We are all our own separate universes and this is just a glimpse of mine,” he wrote. “Characters and symbols that look like pieces of the past are present to tap into the primal side of viewers.”






One of the pieces presented in the exhibition.




While most of his pieces are created with pastels, there is work that also consists of other mediums, such as oil and acrylic paints, watercolors, scrap wood, and other objects. recycled. The work premiered in 2021 and early 2022.

“It’s the style I was born for,” Pio wrote of his own take on expressionism that often combines culinary themes, cartoon and comic book techniques with written slogans. (“Rage responsably please.”) The titles are also intriguing: “No Shoes in the House” and “Idiot Sandwich”. The colors are vibrant and Pio’s lines are bold.

The exhibit can be viewed for at least one month at Urban Arts Collaborative. The reception was held on March 4 with the sound of another local artist, The Essence.

Throughout March, Urban Arts Collaborative, 21 Soledad St., Suite C, Salinas. Urbanartsco.org. Alejandro Pio on Instagram: @chefaleks_

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